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DA cries foul after 69 ballots are declared invalid

ATM's Mncedi Ndzwanana elected new Tshwane speaker

Nomazima Nkosi Senior reporter
Newly elected Tshwane speaker Mncedi Ndzwanana from the ATM party says his role is to bring unity and stability to the city council.
Newly elected Tshwane speaker Mncedi Ndzwanana from the ATM party says his role is to bring unity and stability to the city council.
Image: Supplied

ATM councillor Mncedi Ndzwanana is the new speaker for the City of Tshwane council.

Ndzwanana was elected speaker after receiving 105 votes compared to ActionSA speaker candidate Kholofelo Morudi who received only 37.

Ndzwanana was supported by the ANC and EFF led grouping in council.

Morudi was the multi-party coalition's candidate for speaker however failed to secure enough votes when all 69 ballots cast by  DA councillors were deemed as invalid by the Independent Electoral Commission.

Instead of placing an X next to their candidate, DA councillors used numbers 1-69 assigned to each by the party to police who would vote against their mandate. The councillors were instructed to vote using the numbers allocated to them by the party to ensure the party representatives were able to see which councillors voted for their candidate.

Monday's special council meeting took more than 14 hours owing to several adjournments and legal opinions that were sought by city manager Johann Mettler.

EFF and ANC councillors singing with Mncedi Ndzwanana of ATM candidate of speaker at Tshwane House. Photo Veli Nhlapo
EFF and ANC councillors singing with Mncedi Ndzwanana of ATM candidate of speaker at Tshwane House. Photo Veli Nhlapo
Image: VELI NHLAPO

This was due to the termination of membership of ActionSA councillor, Nkele Molapo, for her relationship with Abel Tau who was dismissed from the party in November. 

Molapo is challenging her ousting through an application for a court interdict to suspend her vacancy and allow her to participate in the council sitting. This challenge was sent to Mettler which added to the delays of yesterday's council meeting.

Parties in council sought to defend Molapo, saying ActionSA had unjustly removed her.

DA caucus leader Cilliers Brink said the party did not sign off on the result slip adding they would be consulting their legal team to possibly rerun Monday's council meeting.

“Our mark next to the candidate was clear. We made a marking of our own. The electoral law in this country is very clear, whatever you do on the ballot paper whether circle and number you indicate clearly your intention that is a valid vote.

"We believe the IEC has erred here today and we believe this decision is reviewable. We clearly didn't want our votes to be discarded and if they were counted, we would have a multi-party coalition. Those votes could've given us a speaker.

"We are going to consult our attorneys because we regard this as a serious misinterpretation," Brink said.


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